What are VBAC Women Seeking and Sharing? A Content Analysis of Online Discussion Boards

Yasmine L. Konheim-Kalkstein, Rosemarie Whyte, Talya Miron-Shatz, Mark A. Stellmack

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: In the United States, one-third of pregnancies result in a cesarean delivery. In subsequent pregnancies, mothers must decide whether to pursue a vaginal birth after a cesarean (VBAC) or a repeat cesarean delivery. Pregnant women frequently turn to the Internet for support and information. Methods: We analyzed 300 posts from a popular online discussion board created for pregnant women who are in the process of deciding to have a VBAC and compared them to 300 posts from a discussion board for pregnant women in general. Results: Women contemplating a VBAC sought more information on health care providers, more information about labor and delivery, and actively sought birth narratives from other women. Over one-third of VBAC posters shared a birth story, whereas this activity was rare on the general discussion board. Activity on the VBAC board suggested more involvement in the online community (longer entries and more feedback). Conclusions: Many women considering VBAC seek a substantial amount of information and emotional support from online discussion boards. Knowledge of information sought can assist health care providers in more fully meeting the needs of VBAC candidates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)277-282
Number of pages6
JournalBirth
Volume42
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015

Keywords

  • Cesarean
  • Content analysis
  • Internet
  • Online discussion boards
  • Pregnant women
  • Vaginal birth after a cesarean

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